Administrative Assistants - the most effective (and powerful) people in the office

Administrative Assistants – the most effective (and powerful) people in the office

Gone are the days of the worn-out and painful cliches that used to describe a personal secretary.  In today’s professional world, offices and executives are fighting for and paying big bucks for accomplished Administrative Assistants.

An article published today in the Wall Street Journal gives Administrative Assistants their due.  CLICK HERE to read the article.  From Mark Zuckerburg, to Bill Gates to President Obama, today’s Administrative Assistants are an executive’s most capable, relied upon partners. An Administrative Assistant makes sure an executive (and in many cases an entire company) runs efficiently and seamlessly.

Often considered a ‘gatekeeper’ to the highest rung of power, Administrative Assistants juggle a myriad of organizational duties and executives often seek advice from their trusted assistants on many major decisions.   Administrative Assistant many times are the bridge between an executive and the culture and politics of a department or an entire company.  As a matter of fact, a recent survey showed that 91 percent of executives consider their assistants’ opinions important when making hiring decisions.

An effective Administrative Assistant’s skills go beyond simply making travel arrangements or arranging schedules.  The most capable Administrative Assistants are thinking three steps ahead of their bosses; understanding their bosse’s personalities, habits, routines and anticipating and arranging the types of schedules that will make their bosses most effective in their jobs.  They have high integrity, a strong work ethic, are expert problem solvers and have strong planning, logistics and multi-tasking skills.  They are comfortable communicating and collaborating with others and are typically highly extroverted and rely on strong networks with others.

Often I tell job seekers that if they really want to understand the culture of a company or the hiring process of a department, reach out to the Administrative Assistant.  In addition, any interaction with a company often starts with a communication with an Administrative Assistant; treat these professionals with the respect they deserve and they could open the gate to a job offer.

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